Making Art in Your Head

Mixing Board

Yeah, so, I made some horrible music tonight.

It’s not that any of it was “bad” in any technical sense; it was just static, stagnant and boring. I already had it all figured out in my head what the songs were going to sound like and, for me at least, that’s the death knell of creativity.

> Sampled drum beat, throbbing bass, doubled and delayed guitar, tricky little counter pattern – cookie cutter, cookie cutter, cookie cutter <

I’ve got a recording project with some friends and deadlines loom. I laid in bed two nights ago thinking about it and therein lay the problem – “thinking bout it”. Now, I don’t endorse the idea of making art or music without thought or intent, but the moment a painting, a song or a project is constructed wholly in my mind, I am screwed. I am so much better at that moment in front of the blank canvas wondering what’s going to happen and then starting to work. It’s that moment when my brain engages after making the first brush stroke, pencil mark or dissonant chord and I start to think, “What’s next? Where now?”. That’s where the magic flows. Knowing beforehand makes for, well, static, stagnant and boring. 

The blank canvas, the empty staff, the moment before – that’s a place to create.

So, this project came with much tighter boundaries than I have had to work with in a long time and, you know what, screw it, no one’s going to die if I get an extension and I don’t really care too much if anyone doesn’t like it if I ignore their boundaries.

Get out the eraser, put up a new canvas, strike a new chord and enjoy the wonder as we find out what comes next.



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